|Updated: 5/14/2012 5:42 pm
||Published: 5/14/2012 12:30 pm
Tulsa Police, a team of archeologist from the University of Oklahoma and Forensic students from Oklahoma State University continue the search for a missing 6-year-old from Florida Monday in an empty south Tulsa lot.
Ashani Creighton was last seen in 1997.
Corporal Joe Campbell, with Tulsa Police says the department received a phone from the Orange County Sheriff’s office about the case.
They are using aerial maps from the 1990s to determine the landscaping of 61st and Mingo. It has changed a lot in the last 15 years. Mingo used to be only a two-lane street.
"I fully believe that she is here somewhere," said Tulsa Police Corporal Joe Campbell.
He’s hopeful they'll find six-year-old Ashani Creighton's remains.
TPD is searching through large dirt and debris piled behind the newer structure’s parking lot. Cadaver dogs found the human remains scent in that debris that’s where investigators began searching Monday.
"It's almost like trying to find a needle in a haystack in this case instead we have a dirt stack instead of hay," said University of Oklahoma Archaeology Professor Kent Buehler.
They've recovered bodies from caves and from under hundreds of pounds of concrete before but nothing hits closer to home than when it involves a child.
"We always want to recover the bodies and remains as much as we can,” Kent told FOX23. “This makes it a little more so I think."
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the cold case dates back to 1999. Creighton was last seen on March 21st of 1997. The case was recently re-opened when Florida investigators found credible information that Creighton’s body might be underneath a parking lot at 61st Street and Mingo. They began working with Tulsa Police in October 2011.
"You just get involved in your cases and you know you don't ever want to give up until you find that answer until you can make peace with it," said Campbell.
Monday, TPD investigators and the team from OU searched the empty lot directly east of the strip mall that was searched in March.
TPD hopes to wrap the search up by Friday but says they will stay out here as until they’re finished.